"Of all the concepts that we lean on in our discipline,'creativity' is, perhaps, the most overused and least understood . . . . In short , we are driven by our appreciation of outcomes and end products, rather than by a concern to promote inner habits of mind. Curiously, in all our talk of creativity we rarely, if ever, acknowledge the imagination or that activity of mind which, more than any other, may be seen to underpin real acts of personal creation. For it is the imagination, moreover, that allows us to play with ideas, draw new conclusions, test them in thought and action, and transform what is empirically given to us in our world into our own personal symbolic realities. The imagination is one of human kindÍs most precious capacities, one to which we need to give a privileged place in our schools. However, it is much easier to get children to 'produce' outcomes in the name of creativity than it is to promote those quiet reflective capacities of mind which drive imaginative thought and action in the development of personal ideas. For if the imagination is to do its work, it must be calibrated to a nuanced set of understandings about the materials of art through which inner ideas can be shaped and externally expressed. To do this well means that we must not inhibit children by imposing on their products adult artisitic conventions, or mecurial notions of 'performance' creativity. . . . " [Burton, Judith M. "Art Education and the Plight of the Culture: A Status Report. " In Art Education. Volume 45, No. 4. Reston, Virginia: National Art Education Association. July 1992. pp. 14-15.]
Mental Imagery- [From Coon, Introduction to Psychology, Exploration and Application.
Images may involve different senses. A survey of 500 people found that 97% have visual images, 92% have auditory images, over 50% have imagery that included movement, touch, taste, smell, and pain. Most people use images to think and to solve problems.
Synesthesia. Images cross normal sensory barriers. Individual listening to music may experience a burst of colors or tastes as well as sound sensations.
Mentally rotate. Mental images are not necessarily flat, and they can be moved about as needed.
Stored images. They can be used to bring prior experience to bear on problem solving. You might begin by picturing all the uses you have already seen to answere: "How many uses can you think of for an old automobile tire?"
Created images. Used to generate more original solutions. People who have good imaging ability tend to score higher on tests of creativity. A sculptor may completely picture a proposed sculpture before beginning work.
Size of imagery. Picturing things at oversized scale aids in knowing the details.
Muscular imagery. We think with our bodies. We often represent things in a kind of muscular imagery created by actions or implicit (unexpressed ) actions. People who "talk" with their hands are using gestures to help themselves think as well as to communicate. A great deal of information is contained in kinesthetic sensations (feelings from the muscles and joints). As a person talks, these sensations help structure the flow of ideas (Horowitz, 1970). It is impossible not to demonstrate when attempting to describe some things.
Micromovements. Most thinking is accompanied by muscualar tension and micromovements throughout the body. When a subject was asked to imagine that he was hitting a nail with a hammer a burst of activity was recorded in the muscles of the unmoving arm. Ask someone to describe an event and you will probably get an "instant replay."
[Coon, Dennis. Introduction to Psychology, Exploration and Application. St. Paul: West Publishing Company, 1989. Chapter: Learning & Cognition]
Image, in optics, likeness or counterpart of an object produced when rays of light coming from that object are reflected from a MIRROR or are refracted by a lens. An image of an object is also formed when this light passes through a very small opening like that of a pinhole camera (which has no lens). Images are classed as real or virtual. A real image occurs when the rays of light from the object actually converge to form an image and can be seen on a screen placed at the point of convergence. For example, the image produced by the refraction of light rays by a convex lens (when the distance between the object and the lens is greater than the focal length of the lens) is real, and it appears on the side of the lens opposite the one on which the object is present. On the other hand, a virtual image occurs when the prolongations of the light rays converge to form an image, but the light rays themselves do not reach the point of convergence. Thus a virtual image cannot be seen on a screen. The image in a plane mirror is virtual. It appears to be behind the mirror, at a distance equal to that of the object in front, although the rays of light from the object do not penetrate the mirror but are reflected from it. Images of the same size as the object are sometimes produced, as in the case of the plane mirror, but in other cases they are larger and in still others, smaller. They are sometimes erect and in other cases are inverted. The size of the image and whether it is erect or inverted, real or virtual, depend on the distance of the object from the lens or mirror relative to the focal length and on the type of lens or mirror (plane, convex, or concave) employed. [Harris, William H., and Judith S. Levey, eds. The New Columbia Encyclopedia. New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1975.]
R E F E R E N C E S
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary:
Imagination n [ME, fr. MF, fr. L imagination-, imaginatio, fr. imaginari] [14c] 1: the act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality 2a: creative ability b: ability to confront and deal with a problem: Resourcefulness c: the thinking or active mind: Interest [stories that fired the __] 3a: a creation of the mind; esp: an idealized or poetic creation b: fanciful or empty assumption
Imaginative adj [14c] 1a: of relating to, or characterized by imagination b: devoid of truth: False 2: given to imagining: having a lively imagination 3: of or relating to images; esp: showing a command of imagery
Imagine vb [ME, fr. MF imaginer, fr. L imagânari, fr. imagin-, imago image] vt [14c] 1: to form a mental image of [something not present] 2 archaic: Plan, Scheme 3: Suppose Guess [I __ it will rain] 4: to form a notion of without sufficient basis: Fancy [__s himself to be a charming conversationalist] -vi 1: to use the imagination 2: Believe3 -syn see Think
[Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Edition. Springfield, MA, USA: Merriam-Webster, Inc. 1995.]
Random House Dictionary:
Image n, [ME < OF, var. of imagene (appar. taken as base + suffix by folk etym.) < L imagin-, s. of imago a copy, likeness; see imitate] 1. a physical likeness or representation of a person, animal, or thing, photographed, painted, sculptured, or otherwise produced. 2. an optical counterpart or appearance of an object, such as is produced by reflection from a mirror. 3. a mental representation; idea; conception. 4. form; appearance; semblance: God created man in his own image. 5. counterpart; copy: That child is the image of his mother. 6. a symbol; emblem. 7. a type; embodiment: He was the image of frustration. 8. a description of something in speech or writing. 9. an idol or representation of a deity. 10. Rhet. a figure of speech, esp. a metaphor or a simile. 11. Archaic. an illusion or apparition. -v.t. 12. to picture or represent in the mind; imagine; conceive. 13. to make an image of; portray in sculpture, painting, etc. 14. to set forth in speech or writing; describe. 18. to reflect the likeness of; mirror. 16. to project (photographs, film, etc.) on a surface: Familiar scenes were imaged on the screen. 17. to symbolize; typify. 18. to resemble. -Syn. 1, 9. Image, Icon, Idol refer to material representations of persons or things. An IMAGE is a representation as in a statue or effigy, and is sometimes regarded as an object of worship: to set up an image of Apollo; an image of a saint. An ICON, in the Greek or Orthodox Eastern Church, is a representation of Christ, an angel, or a saint, in painting, relief, mosaic, or the like: At least two icons are fond in each church. Small icons are also carried by the peasants; these are folded tablets of wood or metal, with representations of sacred subjects: An icon is honored by offerings of incense and lights. An IDOL is an image, statue, or the like, representing a deity and worshiped as such: a wooden idol; The heathen worship idols. It may be used figuratively: to make an idol of wealth. 2. likeness, figure, representation. 3. notion. 5. facsimile. -Ant. 5. original.
Imagination n. [ME < ML imaginativus; r. ME imaginatif < MF] 1. the act of imagining. 2. the faculty of imagining. 3. Psychol. the power of reproducing images stored in the memory under the suggestion of associated images or of recombining former experiences to create new images. 4. the faculty of producing ideal creations consistent with reality, as in literature, as distinct from the power of creating illustrative or decorative imagery. 5. a mental conception or creation, often a useless or fanciful one. 6. ability to meet and resolve difficulties; resourcefulness.
Imagine v. [ME imagine(n) < imagin(ari) = imagin- (s. of imago) IMAGE + ari inf. suffix] 1. to form a mental image of (something not actually present to the senses). 2. to believe, suppose, or conjecture. 3. Archaic. to plan, scheme, or plot. -v.t. 4. to form mental images of things not present to the senses; use the imagination. 5. to suppose, conjecture, or assume. -Syn. 1. image, picture,Imagine, conceive, conceive ofrefer to bringing something before the mind. To IMAGINE is, literally, to form a mental image of something: to imagine yourself in London. To CONCEIVE is to relate ideas or feeling to one another in a pattern: How has the author conceived the first act of his play? To CONCEIVE OF is to comprehend through the intellect something not perceived through the senses: Wilson conceived of a world free from war.
[[Urdang, Laurence, ed. Random House Dictionary of The English Language. New York: Random House,1968.]
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